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Play Paul: France's Next Superstar Producer Steps Up

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Monday, May 16, 2005
With three firing hard as nails electro-house singles popping up on Gigolo, Kitsune and Black Jack Recordings over the last three months, French producer Play Paul has become suddenly ubiquitous on the alternative electro dance floors on the world, and fantastic new single Bounce looks certain to cement his reputation. Yet despite his sudden ascent to Black Strobe visibility, the softly spoken Frenchman tells Skrufff he's chilled by his newfound success.

"Personally, I'm not looking for fame or money," he insists, "I'm a lazy person so as far as I can get my money to pay for my rent, food and to get into clubs, that's enough, that's OK for me." He's also more than qualified to understand fame and money, as his surname de Homen-Christo might suggest (he shares it with his brother Guy, of Daft Punk).

"I don't know if Daft Punk were actually ambitious as such either," he points out, "It's just that they made the music they wanted to make the it became very big,"

Which is exactly the approach he's applied to Bounce, a startlingly original slice of dark electro that he cobbled together one night as he finished a recording session.

"I was working on a different track and was feeling a little bored at the end of the day listening to it repeatedly so I stopped and tried to find some new melodies and new sounds," he recalls.

"I started playing around with one of my synths, trying to find an interesting sound, then the main sound appeared. After finding that I continued playing with my keyboard and found the melody. I created Bounce randomly, essentially. As soon as I had the main riff everything else came really quickly, the drums, bassline and even vocal melodies. I did the whole track in just a few hours."

Despite his insistence on being lazy, he's clearly doing something right, gaining the influential support of DJ Hell's Gigolo Recordings plus full props from Laurent Garnier for Bounce. Though as far as tapping up his brother for help is concerned, he's adamant the pair keep a respectful distance.

"Things have always been clear between us, he does his own job and makes his own music and I do mine. We aren't linked just because we're brothers," says Paul.

Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): Starting with Bounce, what was the process from recording it to getting it signed-

Play Paul: "I immediately saw that it could be a very cool, interesting track so I contacted my friends from Set Recordings, sent them an MP3, called Fred (Agostino) and said "I've just sent you a new track, let me know what you think' feeling almost sure that he'd reply really quickly. I sent the track at 9pm and the very next day he said "we really like the track, we want to release it'. But I signed it in December 2003 and it's only now that it's coming out. It's always the same, you make tracks then it takes years for them to come out. For example, the La La Land track was done in the summer of 2002, almost three years ago. It came out on Gigolo in April."

Skrufff: Do you have loads more tracks you've made since then-

Play Paul: "Yes, I've signed another one on Kitsune that's called Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, it was released in February but without promotion for the moment, so I sold like 2,500 copies and soon they'll be promoting it fully And I did another for a French label called Black Jack ("Once You Go') and Love Song on Gigolo and La La Land, also on Gigolo."

Skrufff: Bounce in particular has a similar vibe to Black Strobe, do you see yourself as being part of a French scene, do you all hang out-

Play Paul: "With Black Strobe- Not really, though I always go to the parties where they play. I just shook hands with Smagghe once and said "hi' but never hung out with him."

Skrufff: Your press release for Bounce describes you as being part of the extended Daft Punk family, referring to your brother Guy, what's the age difference between you both-

Play Paul: "He's 31, I'm 28."

Skrufff: What we